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Continued: Youth day or not, fewer hunt ducks

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 31, 2013 - 5:56 PM

Some say Sept. 7 is simply too early, that some ducks won’t be fledged and that shooting pressure from the young hunters could push ducks from the state before the regular opener.

“We’re not concerned it’s too early,’’ Boggess said. “There aren’t many hunters out for youth day, and they don’t take that many ducks. They are likely to take primarily teal and wood ducks. We think it will work out fine.’’

Said Landwehr: “Some people are concerned there will be ducks that can’t fly, but no one is shooting ducks sitting on the water.’’

“With 5,000 kids, if they each shoot two or three birds, we’re talking 10,000 or 15,000 birds,’’ Landwehr said. “It’s trivial compared to the [overall] harvest,’’ which was 835,000 last season.

Youth day details

Hunters age 15 and under may take regular season bag limits when accompanied by a nonhunting adult (age 18 and older, no license required). Hours are a half-hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. Up to five Canada geese can be taken, too. Motorized decoy restrictions are in effect.

  • Estimated number of Minnesota duck hunters has fallen 21 percent over the past 16 years, despite the launching of Youth Waterfowl Day in 1996, which supporters hoped would boost youth participation.

    1996 114,000

    1997 122,000

    1998 117,000

    1999 122,000

    2000 109,000

    2001 109,000

    2002 112,000

    2003 101,000

    2004 105,000

    2005 93,000

    2006 87,000

    2007 87,000

    2008 81,000

    2009 78,000

    2010 73,000

    2011 83,000

    2012 90,000

    Source: DNR

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